Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Module 1: Classic Children's Literature

Book Title: The Story of Ferdinand

Author: Munro Leaf

Bibliography: Leaf, Munro, and Robert Lawson. The Story of Ferdinand. New York: Viking, 1936. Print.

Summary: In Spain, a young bull named Ferdinand would rather sit under a tree enjoying the smell of flowers than run and play with the other bulls. But one day when the vaqueros come to find the fiercest bull to fight in the ring, they see Ferdinand. Having been stung by a bee, his stomping and snorting convinces the men that he is the strongest and fiercest bull around. However, when Ferdinand gets to the ring, all he wants to do is sit and smell the flowers.

Reviews: From Barnes & Noble - Barnes & Noble Staff
Ferdinand, peaceful bull who loves to sit and smell flowers, is mistakenly carted off to a bullfight in Madrid, where he is believed to be the fiercest bull around. Ferdinand trots into the ring, only to sit and smell the flowers in the ladies hair. No matter what the frustrated matador and his helpers do, they cannot get Ferdinand to fight. Lawson's memorable black-and-white pictures speak volumes in this childhood classic.

Impressions: While this is an older book (1936) and on a normal day, I never would have picked it up, I really enjoyed the story and the lesson that went along with it. I thought that this book would be a great way to teach students to always be yourself, as well as "don't judge a book by its cover".

Activities: Students learn cause and effect through chronological order. The teacher runs copies of each of the pages of the book and the students are to recreate the story by putting the pictures in order.

Book Title: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Author: C.S. Lewis

Bibliography: Lewis, C. S., and Pauline Baynes. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. Print.

Summary: Peter, Susan, Edmond and Lucy are sent to live in the English country during World War I. During a simple game of hide and seek, Lucy finds her way through the back of a magical wardrobe into the mysterious world of Narnia. Encouraging her siblings to join her, the children spend several years as royalty, helping Aslan, the golden lion, defeat the evil white witch.

Reviews: From Barnes & Noble -
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was published in 1950, and it was the book that first introduced readers to the World of Narnia. Years later, in 1955, Lewis wrote a prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, entitled The Magician's Nephew. While The Magician's Nephew was the sixth Narnia book to be written, many readers prefer to begin the series with The Magician's Nephew.

Impressions: This book is always a classic, but after re-reading it after twenty years, I realized that this isn't the first book in the series. While it is the most popular of the Narnia series, I hate that fact that The Magician's Nephew is so easily forgotten. I think that it is imperative that the first book be read, because it includes the creation of Narnia.

Activities: Students have to create an imaginative story about an ordinary object in their home. Students must include how the object became magical, how they came to own it, what it does, and what adventures it creates for them.

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